INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Unfortunately, it’s a common problem for too many older adults with certain chronic illnesses who rely on regular medication to manage their condition. They go to take their medication only to discover that the bottle is empty. It might be on the weekend or in the evening or both. The doctor’s office is likely closed. What to do now? Skip a dose? Scramble the next day to fill the prescription in hopes of not missing yet another dose? All the while, putting their health at risk?
One out of every 10 cases of missed medication is caused by a patient simply being too late to get a pharmacy refill.i These missed prescriptions cost the health care system about $100 billion annuallyii as members are forced into the hospital for acute episodes that could’ve otherwise been avoided. That doesn’t have to be case, according to Dr. Richard Frank, medical director of Medicare products with Anthem Inc. By getting a 90-day supply of medication vs. the traditional 30-day supply, members effectively lessen their risk of running out at an inopportune time.
“Your doctor has prescribed a certain dose for you at a certain time for a good reason,” Frank said. “It is never a good idea to skip one.”
Getting a 90-day prescription is easy enough to do for most everyday medications, he added. First, ask your doctor to note a 90-day fill on the prescription itself. This can be done for most, but not all, medications. Next, make sure that the medication is on your plan’s approved drug list. Finally, take the prescription to an in-network pharmacy. Most pharmacies will be able to fill for the 90 days as written.
“Getting a 90-day supply of medication is a great benefit, particularly to older adults who may live rurally or have difficulty with mobility, as well as for traveling Boomers who don’t want to delay or stop their trip to get medication,” Frank said.
Most people with a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan are eligible for a 90-day fill upon their request. When people with common conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, have a supply of medication on hand, they are more likely to take it, decreasing the risk of a bad health episode.
About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With nearly 70 million people served by its affiliated companies, including more than 38 million enrolled in its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. For more information about Anthem’s family of companies, please visit www.antheminc.com/companies.
Anthem affiliates have PPO, LPPO, RPPO and HMO plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Anthem’s affiliates depends on contract renewal. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change on January 1 of each year.
ii Medication adherence behaviors of Medicare beneficiaries, Dove Press Journal, Patient Preference and Adherence, Sept. 17, 2014